Thursday, 19 August 2010

Best Actor 1928: Charlie Chaplin in The Circus

Charlie Chaplin sort of received his first Oscar nomination for portraying once again The Tramp in The Circus.

The Circus is not the funniest silent comedy ever for me, or even that funny at all. I really did not really smile or laugh very much while watching it, I more of found some of scenes sort of neat and intriguing but really for historical reasons.

Chaplin plays the same character here he played in most of his films, The Tramp. Now in terms of acting in the normal prescribed fashion it is mostly typical silent fare. There is the obvious gestures and faces but Chaplin does not over do them too much, but rather as much as a good silent actor would. He makes his sad faces sad, his scared faces scared, his happy faces happy, all the right way even if it is the obvious way. There is nothing wrong with what he does and he certainly does this well enough. They never seem completely over acted, yes they certainly are a little just to be noticed but not as much as they could be. There are no moments where his faces seem wrong, but they are never that good. There are a few reactions were he shows a little more subtlety like his final face in the film, but there are not enough in the overall performance.

The rest of his performance though resides in his physical comedic performance. Chaplin is clearly experienced here with always making the right moves and doing his trade mark waddle in the right way. He clearly is always perfectly in step and in line making the Tramp's movements completely natural despite being completely absurd. Now I did not find what he did all that funny, but it was nice enough to watch. Most of the comedy attempts come from the direction of what happens to The Tramp than from Chaplin's precise acting. The things I liked more in the film were the set pieces more than his physical movements in this particular film. 

4 comments:

joe burns said...

Hmmmmm, well he won't be your pick! I think......... Do you not really care for the old style acting?




Off-topic, but do you like Harry Potter?

dinasztie said...

I like Chaplin a lot, but I'm not a huge fan so I haven't seen this. And I really don't care about it. Good job from you though.

I know the question is not for me, but I'm a fan of Harry Potter. So I hope you are too.

Louis Morgan said...

Joe Burns: I like silent acting to a degree but some silent actors are better than others. And Yes, I like Harry Potter well enough.

Dinastzie: Thanks.

Sage Slowdive said...

I think I can do it, but it is hard to judge a couple of silent performances against 400 talkies.